Ralph DeMas at one time was a feared member of the New England underworld, with a lengthy résumé of truck hijackings, home invasions, robberies, and other violent crimes. In his 80s, DeMas lived in a shared, moderately sized rental home located in Salisbury, Massachusetts.     DeMas was born in 1936. His birth mother was a teenager living in a Connecticut home for unmarried mothers. He was abandoned at a young age. Thus beginning his unsettled life as a problematic foster child. DeMas recalls his time in foster care to be a not so great experience, but he doesn’t blame anyone for it. When foster parents weren’t ‘happy with him’ they would call up, and he would soon be on to the next home, bounced around from foster home to foster home.     No one know the true story of young Ralph DeMas. However, one story states that at age 11, DeMas eventually found a loving foster mother whom he grew fond of. Mrs. Bowman of Bridgeport, Connecticut. With an abusive husband, the young DeMas felt he needed to stand and protect his foster mother. During one of many altercations involving the husband hitting Mrs. Bowman, DeMas grabbed a shotgun belonging to the man and threatened he would shoot him, then ran away. After this encounter, DeMas slept beside the gun in a graveyard. The next day robbed a card game by ordering everyone with the gun he had acquired, to strip naked.     At a young age Mr. DeMasi spent time in a reformatory school, time in the Army as well as time behind bars. His activity is documented in the newspaper’s police logs: Ralph DeMasi was arrested after breaking into the Kingsway bowling alley in Fairfield and rifling a pinball machine … was remanded to the custody of the New York State Police after being charged with burglarizing a sporting-goods store in Brewster, N.Y. … was arrested at gunpoint behind a Boston furrier’s, his car filled with $80,000 worth of furs, his pocket allegedly concealing a loaded gun.     In 1970, shortly after his release from prison for a fur-theft conviction, DeMasi would soon meet his wife. He was working with one of her brothers and one day stopped at her mother’s home in South Boston. The brother was working on a con known as “short change”. Short changing included a person confusingly babbling to distract a sales clerk who would be exchanging and distributing money. DeMasi explained “You’d give them a 20 and say: ‘Oh, wait a minute, I didn’t mean to give that to you, take this dollar, oh, I need my change for the 20…It’s just fast-talking.”     The couple was married within four short months. About the same period of time, DeMasi was suspected of burglarizing a Boston home in the suburbs. Upon searching DeMasi’s apartment, a selection of assorted valuables were taken from him (items that were stolen from the burglary). The items included a mink coat, select jewelry in addition to a saxophone. During the apartment raid a note to his now ex-wife was discovered. The note read:”Hi Honey! Went out with the cat & got nothing! Am going over to give Millie the money & then shall be taking a fast ride to Providence & try to get some money for the diamonds & the fur. Take care. Should be back by 3 p.m. Get ready & I will take you downtown. Took $19 out of your pocketbook? Love, Ralph.”     Their first child was born on Christmas day. During the birth DeMasi was sitting in prison. At some point during her second pregnancy, DeMasi showed up at their home in Rhode Island driving a rental truck informing his wife that they had to move “right now… to California”. DeMasi was arrested there soon after. DeMasi’s wife of the time was able to post his bail just before giving birth, with assistance of some connections she had in Rhode Island.     Ms. DeMasi would often anxiously wait for her husband’s return following a hit. She said the feeling of uneasiness felt “Like an eternity”.     Some of the waiting would last years. The only existence with his family came in the form of his emotionless voice on mailed audio-cassettes via prison. Inmates’ chatter and prison ambiance could be heard while DeMasi would convey his love and vow to improve for the better for his family.     One tape DeMasi could heard pleading: “I want to get out of here, and I want to be with you and the children,” this was in 1977. He was also quoted on these tapes claiming “Never again going through all them crazy runarounds. No way, boy. We just gotta put it all behind us, baby, and get away from it.” However, none of this ever happened.     During these times, Mr. DeMasi was a respected affiliate of Mr. Patriarca; a Mafia boss that organized and operated crime in the New England area. Mr. Patriarca owned a vending-machine business that was located on Federal Hill, Providence. The front of the store had a lackluster look to it sporting broken cigarette machines next to dated arcade games. Located in the back was a cluttered desk belonging to Mr. Patriarca. He accumulated tributes, appointed elected officials and arranged for the deaths of many.     The bond between Mr. DeMasi and Mr. Patriarca came to life while the two were serving time in an Adult Correctional Institution located in Rhode Island. The men enjoyed taking walks together in the prison yard. Mr. Patriarca had similarly grown up without a father. Patriarca displayed qualities of toughness, avoiding the spotlight, and keeping tight lipped, all qualities he would find in his new rugged friend, DeMasi. Patriarca saw this as a connection between the two that created their relationship. Despite gunshot wounds during a drive by shooting, DeMasi remained silent and declined to ever give anyone up, this included Whitey Bulger.     The connection he made with this crime family eventually paid off. Amongst his recurrent prison visits, Mr. DeMasi was comforted knowing that his family would have food delivered, cars to drive, and a Christmas tree during the holidays. Every week, Ms. DeMasi claimed that she would be able to arrive at Mr. Patriarca’s store “and there’d be an envelope with $200. All 20s”.     Mr. DeMasi recognized himself as a devoted family man who viewed criminal activity as a “9-to-5 job with the occasional late night”. Law enforcement would watch him drive off in the morning to plan robberies, upon returning home later those evenings, leaving the dirty work to others. Mr. Andrews, previously a Rhode Island law enforcement official, stated “Ralph was all about work”.     Mr. DeMasi was so devoted to his criminal lifestyle that at one time he could be in prison for one crime, facing trial from another in addition to being under indictment from a third. He was almost as commonly known in the courts as those who worked in them.     During one of his many stays in prison DeMasi composed an emotional letter on almost 8 feet of prison toilet paper, to a Rhode Island judge. It described the lack of fairness in being denied bail. In the letter he invites the judge to make use of the toilet paper for its original purpose. His obscene, passionate appeal lives on through court files and archives.     At one time DeMasi chose to represent himself in a trial where he was being tried for the conspiracy to murder another judge via assassin’s by bombing the judge’s house. The trial lasted two weeks, and Mr. DeMasi sported fairly casual outfits including buttoned shirts, simple slacks and brown Hush Puppy style shoes along with white socks. Not once did he wear a jacket or even a tie. According to The Providence Journal, his case was presented without even opening a law book. DeMasi relied heavily on a paperback mail-ordered book laying out the secrets to winning a criminal trial. Mr. DeMasi’s highest level of education was middle school. Despite this, he still ended up beating the case and exonerating himself. He immediately accused the prosecutor of going back on a $10 bet regarding the outcome of the trial. He then invited the whole jury to accompany him for a drink. In spite of this, he drank alone that night.     In the late ’80s, a large quantity of gangsters in New England were specializing in burglarizing armored trucks. Distinguished among the group was Ralph DeMasi. DeMasi explained to the “Crimetown” podcast: “There were two objectives, get the money and don’t get caught getting the money.”.     Before these gangsters would rob the trucks, a lot of thought and plan would go into the process. A crew had to be assembled: “a gunman, wheelman, lookout”. Weeks of surveillance was then done. Surveillance would include watching the routines of the police, understand the flow of traffic, study the trucks’ schedules concerning when they would come and go, and finally learn the routines of  guards that would work on those trucks. Most importantly, one had to organized the escape plan. “Everything had to be planned out… It couldn’t be just spur of the moment” DeMasi explained.     The heists could contain upwards of hundreds of thousands and even some millions of dollars. At this point, police would be able narrow down the probable suspects to the same group. “There weren’t that many guys doing these jobs. You always knew. That’s Fiore. That’s DeMasi.” Mr. Andrews explained.     In the August of ’91, Mr. DeMasi was residing in the Pines camping area, settled in the ‘woods and marshes of Salisbury’. Many years divorced at this point in his life, his at the time campsite home, furnished and tarp-covered was conveniently located near his children and ex-wife. Ms. DeMasi had a brief episode of unfaithfulness to her husband during his time in prison. He forgave her however she would not forgive herself.     Some time later, DeMasi was bragging of a time he had robbed an armored truck to an undercover state police officer in Massachusetts who was undergoing a drug investigation at the time. DeMasi was recorded saying things like: “That’s always been my thing, always been my thing… Like I say, I love to go and get the cash.” As he continued he explained “We put our thing together. We clock it, we clock it, we clock it, we clock it, we clock it, right? The guard’s taking the money in the bank, or he’s bringing it out or whatever. Then boom, we catch him. Boom, boom, quick — it’s over.     Although DeMasi was known to be a tough guy in prison that would pull his own teeth, he also had many other sides to him. His now ex-wife explains that he spent a large quantity of time locked away in solitary confinement instead of simply obeying orders. He was also however, excessively giving, DeMasi was known for passing on a great deal of his stolen money.     Mr. Fiore, his former comrade recollected a time they had robbed a car in Taunton, MA. He explained that a short time after the robbery, DeMasi would have no more money because “Ah, this guy’s in jail, and his wife don’t have this; his kids don’t have that.”     Mr. DeMasi also found joy in boasting about himself. Almost like he was trying to prove that he was the head of the crew. But by the summer of ’91 his crew did include a mix of some corrupt gamblers, a ‘hanger-on’ not to trusted by other gangsters and a haphazard younger man from the Pine campground.     At that point, the F.B.I. was watching the DeMasi crew begin their plans for their next attack. They had been monitoring deliveries at a bank located in a strip-mall, in Newburyport. Fairly close in distance to the campground. One day the group was pictured having a picnic overseeing surveillance in the parking lot.     Many weeks of planning later, Mr. DeMasi and his crew decided to take action. It was a warm morning and the crew was suited up with the necessary equipment. But just before they could move in on the armored  truck, F.B.I. vehicles arose from all angles.     Quickly, the five men were placed under arrest. This included a conquered DeMasi. James Mullen, a detective for the Rhode Island State Police recalled “He was cold…No emotion. Nothing.”     DeMasi was later given a more than two decade sentence in prison by the federal court. The judge asked if anyone else had any motions, in which DeMasi answers “Kiss my ass.” the judge responded “Motion denied”.     2013, Mr. DeMasi was finally released. He was given some “walking-around money” approximately $5,000, from an ambassador of Raymond Patriarca Jr., who was the son of the original mob boss, who was dead now 30 years and counting. The gift was a mob tradition, to recognize a man’s lengthy and loyal service, but the younger Mr. Patriarca claimed that didn’t happen.     DeMasi had since fell back into a New England life that mostly didn’t remember him. He continued a structured life in his home in Salisbury. He exercised, followed a vegetarian diet, and had kept his small bedroom neat. He continued to dream about the possibility of robbing trucks and other violent crimes one day. Though he had a shaky recollection of his past he did hold a strong connection with his ex-wife. She claimed “If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing…I still tell people today: Nobody on this earth — past, present or future – will ever love the way me and Ralph loved.”     On a Tuesday in December 2016, Ralph DeMasi was arrested for the murder of an armored guard, Edward Morlock Sr., during an armored truck heist. He now sits in the Worcester County Jail awaiting trial that is expected to begin in 2018.

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